For long time I was skeptical of the whole “new year, new you” mentality, as I am sure some of you are. The calendar reading 2015 instead of 2014 does not have any real influence over whether or not I am actually going to exercise or read more or do any of the things I resolved to do. Eventually, however, my perspective was changed. Back in high school, while working on my Girl Scout Gold Award, I was required to set a boatload of goals, and all of these goals had to follow the well-known SMART format. Attributed to Peter Drucker and George Doran, SMART stands for:
Being forced to practice making and achieving goals following this framework entirely changed my perspective on resolutions. I had to ask myself a lot of questions and analyze each goal. How would I measure my progress? What would my results be? By when did I want to accomplish it? For example, instead of resolving to read more, I might say that I want to read 10 books from authors not from the US by the time school gets out for summer. That narrows in on what I really want, to expand my horizons, while giving myself a number and a time frame.
Now that my goals were better and less hazy, I could see why everyone was scrambling to make resolutions each New Year. For me, at least, I had a little time off of my busy schedule to think, and was about to start a brand new semester. In fact, I no longer limit my resolutions to just one set at New Years. Every semester I try to write out a list of goals for myself, and even on breaks I make a few resolutions. I am a total resolution convert. I feel like they help keep me on track and push me to keep challenging myself. What about you? Do you make resolutions at New Years or throughout the year?